Great to see this collection. I assume these are from here
I do research at the National Archives and work with this collection all the time. Its by far the most popular collection in NARA's motion picture division, generating something like 40 percent of the orders for broadcast quality material. Just about any documentary dealing with 20th century US history has footage from this collection. Its truly a unique historical treasure.
If any grantor was looking to fund a high profile public domain digitization project this would be the one to do, in my opinion. Much of the collection has already been transferred to digibeta, that would help keep costs down.
By the way, if the DVD sources are dubs of VHS or Umatic reference copies isn't full DVD resolution a bit of an overkill? I would think SVCD or VCD quality would suffice.
April 02, 2005 05:38:12am
Yes, that's where they came from. And yes, it would be great to digitize the video holdings at NARA (but costly, as there are many thousands of hours of tape, and DigiBeta decks cost a lot of money).
This post was modified by Rick Prelinger on 2005-04-02 13:38:12
I'm sure it would cost millions to digitize the entire collection, not forgetting the outtakes and creating a digital catalog of the paper catalog. Given how much use the collection gets now I imagine a purely economic arguement could justify doing so, in terms of lowering costs to documentary makers.
But those benefits are peanuts compared to the non-direct economic benefits that would result. The potential educational, research and remix uses of the collection are vast. The collection has already given much to our culture, opening it up to orders of magnitudes more users would be a great gift.